The article presents the results of an investigation into the life and social standing of a particular new group in Russia: seasonal workers (otkhodniks). Being a seasonal worker (otkhodnik) is a special form of labour migration, i.e. the proactive go-and-return (seasonal) migration of inhabitants of smaller towns and rural villages to capital cities and industrial areas. The authors provide a rough estimate of the scale of this phenomenon, and describe the trends in its development. It is estimated that no less than 15-20 million of Russians do seasonal work (otkhodnichestvo) with at least one in three families in the Russian provinces living on income derived from these occupations, the economic activitiy of which is not registered by official statistics. Seasonal work (otkhodnichestvo) re-emerged in the mid 1990s in the smaller towns of the European part of Russia, but nowadays, it also covers rural areas and extends throughout the country. External occupations include both small "shadow" businesses (primarily in the northern regions), and "shadow" employment in the service sector (more typical for the central and southern regions).
Contemporary seasonal work (otkhodnichestvo) is more than just a new model for coping and survival, and it is regarded as a new social and political phenomenon. For instance, since seasonal workers (otkhodniks) mostly work in the "shadow segment" of the economy, they are also forced to lead a covered way of life. They are rarely involved in public life, even though paradoxically, they are usually the most active members of the local communities. As a result, it affects the character of relations both in the private sphere (i.e. affecting family, friends and neighbours) and the public sphere (i.e. relations with local public institutions and the state). Seasonal workers (otkhodniks) also bring new cultural stereotypes which may be new to the local community (acting as contemporary kulturtragers), and even form the basis for new political relations at the local community level.
The authors consider how the size and characteristics of labor migration ﬂows in the post-Soviet space have transformed living conditions in the origin and destination areas. Post-Soviet labor migration annually involves several million people. In consequence, the well-being of millions of households in the relatively poor countries of origin of migrant workers (in the recent past, Azerbaijan; now, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine) depends on the export of labor. In the countries of destination, primarily in the main center of the regional (Eurasian) migration system, Russia, as well as in Kazakhstan, migrant workers have occupied important niches in the labor market, substantially contributing to the functioning of selected sectors of the economy and meeting the needs of private households. Labor migration in the postSoviet space is characterized by a large proportion of undocumented migrants and the predominance of low-skilled workers.
This is a collection of scientific papers on migration studies.
This book consists of articles by leading Russian experts in the field of migration. The authors focus on global, national and other selected Issues of migration. The official position on the issue is also presented. This book will be of interest to scientists, journalists, students and state officials.
The chapter analyzes the specifics of the migration of population exchange Russia and former Soviet countries for the 1990-2000's.
The presented book review is devoted to “Otkhodniks” by Plusnin Ju., Zausaeva Ya., Zhidkevich N., Pozanenko A. (editor — S. Kordonsky). Otkhodnichestvo is a type of labor migration implying a scenario in which an adult, able-bodied family member temporarily leaves home to seek work in another area. Otkhodnichestvo has a long history in Russia but a new wave of its mass dissemination appeared in recent decades. The reviewed book defines a concept of otkhodnichestvo, considers what similarities and dissimilarities there are between this phenomenon and other forms of labor migration (i.e. jobbers, rotation workers, and temporary cross-border migrants). It reveals the otkhodniks’ motivation and economic patterns, describes typical social and demographic characteristics of contemporary wandering workers, evaluates otkhodniks’ cultural and social impact on local their community’s everyday life, etc. The book is based on a series of fieldwork studies conducted by the authors in small Russian towns over the last four years. In the review Barsukova discusses her impressions of the book, outlining its unusual genre. One uncontestable advantage of the book is an ethnographic material allowing readers to become immersed in all details of otkhodnik life. Otkhodniks usually come from small rural towns. They are forced to leave their homes to seek jobs in other areas because there are no opportunities for them to earn money in their permanent place of residence. Moreover, a key driver of the discussed form of labor migration is the otkhodniks’ aspiration to provide normal living conditions for their family members. The book review author highlights that otkhdoniks should be discussed not just in terms of their informal employment, the context of family relationship transformation should also be taken seriously into account.
Using two rounds of nationally representative household survey data in this study, we measure the impact on poverty in Nepal of local and international migration for work. We apply an instrumental variables approach to deal with nonrandom selection of migrants and simulate various scenarios for the different levels of migration comparing observed and counterfactual household expenditure distribution. Our results indicate that one-fifth of the poverty reduction in Nepal occurring between 1995 and 2004 can be attributed to higher levels of work-related migration and remittances sent home. We also show that while the increase in international work-related migration was the leading cause of this poverty reduction, domestic migration also played an important role. Our findings demonstrate that strategies for economic growth and poverty reduction in Nepal should consider aspects of the dynamics of domestic and international migration.